Over the course of the last 30 years, Bahrain has maintained a relatively even balance of trade , with imports usually slightly exceeding exports. In 2000, however, the situation was reversed, with imports of US$4.2 billion trailing exports of US$5.8 billion. Bahrain's main export destinations are India (14 percent), Saudi Arabia (5 percent), the United States (5 percent), the United Arab Emirates (5 percent), Japan (4 percent), and South Korea (4 percent). All these countries import mainly processed and refined oil and oil-related products, which have the largest share in Bahrain's exports. Another important export for Bahrain is aluminum, accounting for about 7 percent. Bahrain's total exports rose by nearly 63 percent from 1998 to 2000, while oil-related exports increased from 52 percent of total exports in 1998, to 66 percent in 1999, and back down to 61 percent in 2000.
Bahrain's imports come from a similarly large range of countries. France supplies the majority of imports, with 20 percent, followed by the United States (14 percent), the United Kingdom (8 percent), Saudi Arabia (7 percent), and Japan (5 percent). The heavy trade volume between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia stems from the under-sea pipeline between the 2 countries and the shared oilfield located in Saudi Arabia. Bahrain's imports, mainly machinery, manufactured goods, chemicals and food, come from developed industrial states.